Events > HiCAD 2023

HiCAD 2023

| Laatste nieuws | Software Updates

Out now: HiCAD 2023

HiCAD 2023 is the latest version of our CAD software. From now on, constructions are possible in metric as well as imperial units of measurement.  And there are numerous enhancements that further simplify working with HiCAD. For example, the Drawing, Views and Sketch ribbons have been streamlined somewhat and are thus clearer. In addition, we have modernised and improved various user dialogues, e.g. for 3-D grids or rectangular plates in Steel Engineering. A highlight of the new version is certainly the new Report Manager, with which bills of materials can now be configured much more conveniently. Also worthy of mention are the extensive catalogue extensions for US standard parts as well as the associativity of detail views and the automatic dimension calculation with choice of dimension orientation.

The industry functions have also been expanded, for example, the Plant Engineering functions. In addition to the support of eccentrically inserted pipes, the new part insertion function for straight pipes has been expanded, so that, for example, a complete bent guideline can now be occupied with parts in one step. In Steel Engineering, elbows with/without end caps can now also be applied at handrail ends with the Railing Configurator. And for Sheet Metal, the functionality for lengthening sheets has been combined in a new dialogue, with which flanges and bend zones or complete Sheet Metal parts can be conveniently lengthened or shortened as desired. The change of length can be carried out in a bending simulation.

The highlights at a glance


Modified Ribbons
The Ribbons Drawings, Views and Sketch have been slightly modified and streamlined.

Units of measurement

  • Free choice of the unit of length
    The previous version HiCAD 2022 only supported drawings with the length unit millimetre. From HiCAD 2023 onwards, the unit of length can now be selected in the Configuration Editor. This means that it is now also possible to design in non-metric units.
  • Units of the model drawing
    New in the menu Help Topics and Information is the function Units of the model drawing, with which the current settings for units can be displayed, e.g. length, surface area, volume, etc.
  • Selection of the region in the parameter configuration dialogue
    Both during installation and during subsequent parameter configuration, the region - North America or Europe - can now be selected. Depending on the region, the system then automatically switches to imperial or metric units.

Drawing derivation

  • Annotation of identical holes in the drawing derivation
    Identical bores that do not belong to one bore pattern can be combined. The annotation is then done only once with indication of the number. From HiCAD 2023 it is also possible to set only one annotation for all identical bores - regardless of whether they are single drillings or bore patterns.
  • New usage type for sheet metal assemblies
    A new usage type is available for Sheet Metal assemblies, i.e. assemblies with a Sheet Metal Part as the main part: Sheet Metal Assembly. For assemblies with this usage type, usage-dependent configurations can be used for drawing derivation, which are managed in the Configuration Editor - as with other usage types.
  • Drawing frames in production/mounting drawings
    For production/mounting drawings, it is now possible to define in the Configuration Editor which frames are offered for selection in the dialogue. Furthermore, HiCAD offers the possibility to automatically determine the restricted area of a frame (for the title block, BOMs or comments) during drawing derivation - including the width and height of the usable area. This helps to avoid views colliding with the title block.
  • Frame/Scale lists
    When deriving drawings, in practice there is often the wish to display everything on one sheet if possible. Sometimes it is also desired that sectional views, developments or axonometric representations should have different scales than the main view. And there are situations in which the customer wants a certain drawing frame to be filled with views at an optimal scale. A possible scenario could be that a drawing frame DIN A2 should be used and the scale of the views should be optimally adapted. If, however, the scale falls below 1:10, then another drawing frame is to be used. Here the new function Frame/Scale list is the ideal solution. Similar to the dimensioning rules, with this function it is possible to define separately for each purpose, for example for assemblies, I-beams, sheet metal parts etc., which drawing frames combined with which scales are to be used at all. This also significantly reduces work when creating drawings, as HiCAD does not have to search through all drawing frames and scales.

Bills of materials - New Report Manager
The new Report Manager is the first draft of a configurator for bills of materials. In future HiCAD versions, this tool will be further extended to a comfortable configurator with full functionality and predefined configurations for the different industries. But individual configurations are now also possible with just a few mouse clicks and lead to meaningful bills of materials more quickly than before. The Report Manager can be integrated into HiCAD or HELiOS Desktop as well as used externally.

  • Editing Structure lists and Quantity lists, which are based on the HiCAD assembly structure or the HELiOS product structure
  • Assignment of filters,
  • Various sorting criteria,
  • Exporting the lists to various formats such as Excel or HTML,
  • Comparing rows,
  • Units can be changed depending on the type (e.g. kilogram to gram) in the new ISD Report Manager from Version 2023 onwards.

Extended Dialogue Editor

  • With the new Preview function, you can check how the dialogue would look in HiCAD. The operation of the dialogue can also be tested - e.g. access to the catalogue and changes in the dialogue by selecting entries from a selection box.
  • The toolbox objects EditBox and ComboBox now distinguish between inputs for numbers (double) and text (string).
  • The dialogue structure can be expanded and collapsed - analogous to the part and view structure in HiCAD.
  • In addition to the visibility condition, an activity condition can now be assigned to all toolbox objects. This determines when an object is active, e.g. when entries should be possible in an input field.

New standard/purchased parts

  • More compound anchor cartridges are now available. New are: HIT-HY 10 Plus at Mortar, HIT-HY 200 at Mortar and HIT-SC 16x85 at Sieve sleeve.
  • The catalogue Materials has been extended by US materials.
  • New are Sheet Metal parts of different thicknesses (in inches) according to US standards.
  • In the catalogue Room closing profiles, ATAS Sandwich panels are available from HiCAD 2023. Included are five multi-part profile types: Isoleren WL, IM, ML, SL and TE.
  • Numerous new tables are available for fasteners according to the US standard.
3-D and Point clouds

Dimension calculation and alignment
Up to now, automatic dimension calculation was only possible for assemblies. From HiCAD 2023 this is also supported for 3-D parts. The display of the dimension appears in the form of a transparent bounding box, which completely encloses the active part or all parts of the active assembly. In addition, the coordinate system is displayed on the bounding box. Coloured arrows indicate the direction of the dimensions. Furthermore, the bounding box is marked by a symbol indicating the up-to-dateness of the dimensions as well as the source of the alignment. This alignment can be changed manually from HiCAD 2023. This can be useful, for example, to determine optimal product packaging or to optimise the transport of equipment, etc.

Associative detail views
From HiCAD 2023 onwards, when creating detail views, it is possible to specify whether the detail view should be associative to the initial view or not. For this purpose, the dialogue windows New detail view and Edit detail view have been extended accordingly. Associativity to the source view means that the detail view adopts certain changes from the source view. These are: Cut-outs (including creating and deleting cut-outs), the section path (if the initial view is a section view) and hatching of sectional and cut-out surfaces.

Locking of parts against processing
Previously, setting locks against processings was only possible for externally referenced parts. From HiCAD 2023 this is now also supported for non-referenced and internally referenced parts. Locking parts can be useful, for example, to protect an adjacent structure against accidental modification.

Dimension parameters

  • From HiCAD 2023 onwards, the current settings of the function Dimension parameters for new general measurements are saved together with the drawing, i.e. in the corresponding SZA file, when saving the drawing. When loading the drawing again, these measurement parameters are then automatically active.
  • The 2nd dimension figure used to be always in round brackets up to now. From HiCAD 2023 the bracket type can be selected.

Edge state - dimension unit
For the representation of the edge state, the unit of measurement selected in configuration management is used. This can be selected independently of the dimension unit of the drawing.

Background exclusions for annotations
For the background exclusions for annotations, the exclusion area was always rectangular up to now. From HiCAD 2023, the frame selected in the annotation settings is taken into account. This means that, for example, circular exclusion areas are also possible.

Improved surface intersections between torus and cone/cylinder/torus
The algorithm for surface intersections between tori and cones, cylinders or further tori has been revised. This results in significantly fewer freeform points, which leads to improved performance and better quality results.

3-D grid
The dialogue window of the 3-D grid function has been modernised. Another new feature is that you can use formulas instead of values when specifying distances - also in mixed units. The value is then converted into the unit of measurement of the drawing.

Sketches - preset distance/angle grid
The value for the angular grid when drawing plane sketches and 3-D sketches can now be preset in the Configuration Editor. The specified grid settings apply not only to the sketching technique, but also to other functions that use distance and angle grids.

Point clouds - Plane from points
With the function Plane from points the plane is now determined so that the Z-direction of the plane points to the viewer. In order to be able to reverse the normal direction if required, the dialogue window has been extended accordingly.


Edit feature - Element snap mode
If the identification mode Element snap is active, a click on a geometry marks the corresponding feature in the ICN. As of HiCAD 2023, a double-click triggers the enables the editing of this feature, i.e. the corresponding editing dialogue opens.

New docking window for variables
The docking window for variables has been completely revised for HiCAD 2023. In contrast to the old variable window, the entries no longer have to be saved or discarded using OK or Cancel. Instead, you can activate or deactivate the automatic feature recalculation. If it is activated, a recalculation takes place after every action in the variable window. Changing the comment is an exception.

Deleting and clearing assignments for parameterisations
To delete the parameterisation of a design variant, two functions are now available:

  • Right-click on the main entry Parameterisation and call the function Clear, then all parameterisations of the design variant will be deleted.
  • Select a parameterisation in the sub-menu by right-clicking and selecting the Delete function, then only this parameterisation is removed.
Data exchange

DSTV-NC - Combining powder marking lines
With the DSTV-NC export, it is now possible to determine whether powder marking lines are listed individually in the NC file or are combined into a block per part that is causing the lines.

IFC import

  • HiCAD 2023 supports the IFC 4 Addendum2 data format for IFC import.
  • During the IFC import, it is now possible to determine the BOM-relevance through an attribute mapping defined in the Configuration Editor for the import.

Navisworks export
When inserting a NWC file created by HiCAD into the Navisworks Manager, attributes exported by HiCAD are also displayed there. Which HiCAD attributes are transferred and how, can be configured via a system file. The group name of the HiCAD attributes displayed in Navisworks can also be changed if required.

NCX export - rotating beams and profiles
HiCAD offers the possibility to rotate beams and profiles during NCX export - from HiCAD 2023 also by 90° and 270°.

3-D DXF/DWG import - transfer of layers to 3-D data structures
Until now, when importing 3-D DXF/DWG files created with flexijet, the part structure (layer) was transferred in the form of layers. This meant that the complete flexijet model was transferred to HiCAD as one part. From HiCAD 2023 onwards, it is also possible to transfer these layers as 3-D parts into the HiCAD part structure.

2-D DXF/DWG import and export: New dialogues
In order to be able to edit the import and export settings of 2-D DXF/DWG files more comfortably, new configuration dialogues have been integrated into the HiCAD user interface. These replace the manual editing of system files (acadhcad.dat, hcadacad.dat), which are thus no longer necessary.

Sheet metal

Change length
The functions for lengthening sheet metal have been combined in a new dialogue in the Change length dialogue. With this you can now comfortably lengthen flanges and bend zones or complete Sheet Metal parts as you like or shorten them by a negative value or by selecting the direction. You can also change the length in the bending simulation.

Develop surface (analytical)
The completely revised function Develop surface (analytical) develops the surface of a 3D part (e.g. truncated cone or freeform surface) analytically. Either a sheet thickness (offset) is queried for the depth of cut or - e.g. for hollow parts - the thickness is adopted. You can derive several 3-D developments with different parameter settings from one 3-D part. The parameter settings are saved with the development. A new view is created for each development, whereby view and 3-D part are linked. If the sheet metal part is deleted, the view is also automatically removed together with the development.

Connecting sheet
With the modernised function Connecting sheet you can connect two composite edges (guidelines) - from a 3-D sketch or a planar sketch - by a sheet. Depending on the selected function, the sheet is created as a main or secondary part. As soon as your entries are sufficient, a preview is displayed. The feature log is available for changes.

New attributes for calculating the surface of Sheet Metal parts
In HiCAD new system attributes are available for sheet metal parts and coated surfaces:

  • Calculate surface from development contour, inside subtractions and processings are ignored (§SOC))
  • Calculate rectangular surface area of development from length * width (§S2D)
  • Calculate weight from rectangular surface area of development (§CW)
  • For coated sheets calculate the coated surface (§SC)

When the calculation of these attribute values should take place can be set individually in the Configuration Editor.

2-D DXF/DWG export with new settings
In order to be able to edit the settings more conveniently when exporting developments as 2-D DXF/DWG files, new functions have been integrated. These replace the manual editing of system files (acadhcad.dat, hcadacad.dat), which are thus no longer required in this form. However, settings from older configuration files can still be read in and taken into account accordingly.

Planar symbol for all processing in the development
During processing, symbols can be output for processing operations (pattern holes, punching tools, etc.). To do this, the symbol must be entered in the TOPSYMBOL and BOTTOMSYMBOL columns in the Catalogue Editor.

New groove form for milling edge zone
A new groove form is available for easy fiX side milling cutters V 135°, 3 mm. This groove form can be used when attaching sheet metal flanges.

New usage for folded sheet metal assemblies
For sheet metal assemblies, i.e. assemblies with a sheet metal part as the main part, a new usage type is available: Sheet Metal Assembly. For assemblies with this usage, usage-dependent configurations can be used for drawing derivation, which are managed in the Configuration Editor as - for other usage types.

Steel/Metal Engineering and Drawing Management

Steel Engineering

Connections dialogues
Opening the dialogues of steel engineering connections and scrolling through the dialogues has been speeded up.

Circumferential welds for stiffeners
In practice, circumferential weld seams are often used for stiffeners, which makes the drawing much clearer. For this reason, the corresponding tabs of the following design variants have been extended: Stiffener (2401), Strap joint (2310), Beam to web with 2 plates + stiffener (1211), Frame corner (2203) and Frame corner (2204).

Beam to web with 2 plates + stiffener - optional 2nd stiffener
When connecting a Beam to web with 2 sheets + stiffener (1211), an optional second stiffener can now be inserted - aligned with the first stiffener.

Bar configurator - profile bars on free sketch
With the Bar configurator, the area between the edges of a "free" sketch can now be filled with profile bars. Previously, only square sketches were permitted here.

Railing Configurator - elbows at handrail ends
In the Railing Configurator, elbows with/without end cap or steel plate are now also available as handrail terminations on the Handrail tab.


Metal Engineering

Omission of the LogiKal login window
Until now, a login window was displayed the first time a LogiKal function was called up. This window is no longer needed and will therefore be omitted from HiCAD 2023.

Configuration of the article number of LogiKal items
Up to now, when importing LogiKal items into HiCAD, the fixed setting Project name + Item was always used as the name of the top-level assembly, both separated by commas and with the character # in front of the item number (e.g. glass with rounding, #001). As of HiCAD 2300, only the item, the project name or the short description can now be used as the name of the assembly.

LogiKal interface - transfer of text attributes to HiCAD
When importing LogiKal items, certain LogiKal text attributes can be specifically assigned to certain HiCAD attributes. The setting is made in the Configuration Editor at Interfaces > LogiKal.


Drawing Management

Check, release and index models
To change the workflow status and to index models (SZA files) that were not automatically created with the Drawing Management, it was previously necessary to switch to the HELiOS Desktop and to call the corresponding function there via the context menu for articles/documents. From HiCAD 2023 onwards, these options are available directly in the Drawing Management Ribbon.

Output of PDF data in black and white
The creation of PDF files can now alternatively be done in black and white. For this purpose, the settings for external production documents in Configuration Editor have been extended accordingly.

Workflow when creating general documents
As with production drawings, mounting drawings and customer drawings, it is also possible to select when general documents in DXF, DWG and PDF format are to be created. For this purpose, the settings for external production documents in the Configuration Editor have been extended accordingly.


Element/Profile installation

Element Installation

ALUCOBOND® SZ 20 tray panel (with accessories) - individual left/right bracing
For the bracing, the settings for the left and right sides can now be defined separately. In addition, the maximum spacing of the screws for the sub-structure can be specified.

ALUCOBOND® SZ 20 Polygon (3-8) - bracing profiles outside
When installing ALUCOBOND® SZ 20 Polygon (3-8) cassettes, further options are available for the edge configuration. For example, the sheet can be installed with double edging or with stiffener profiles.

Design variant - SZ20 Base point with projection
A preview button has been added to the dialogue window so that the result can now be visualised and checked graphically on the basis of the current entries before the transfer.

Revised Wall bracket ALUCOBOND U
The table ALUCOBOND U brackets has been replaced by the table Systea U brackets. These wall brackets consist of two parts: Wall bracket (Systea) and Thermostop (Systea).

ALUCOBOND © easy fiX
When installing ALUCOBOND easy fiX profiles, you now have the option of selecting the installation mode:

  • Maximum distance: in this mode, the number of profiles created is calculated using the value specified for Maximum distance.
  • Number: If this mode is selected, the value under Number determines how many profiles are created. This value only applies to profiles that are not continuous.


Profile Installation

Cut lengthening - new part attribute
The cut lengthening, i.e. the lengthening of diagonally cut installation elements, is now assigned to each installation element as attribute DWF_CUTTING_BUFFER. In this way, the value can also be used in annotations or BOMs, for example.

Changing the properties of individual profiled sheets
HiCAD 2023 offers the possibility to change the properties of individual profiled sheets. For this purpose, the Profile Installation dialogue has been extended by a new Specializations tab. With the options of this tab you can assign a profile type to individual or several profiled sheets, which differs from the basic settings of the installation area. In addition, the selection of Colour, outside and Colour, inside is possible.

Pipeline Planning

New parts - Y-pieces
The parts inventory for Plant Engineering has been extended by two variants for the part type Y-piece. The geometry of these variants - in terms of outer diameter, wall thickness and the length of the arms - is based on the Y-piece YS.S from HECO®.

  • Y_PIPE_WELDED_60.VAA with an opening angle of 60° and
  • Y_PIPE_WELDED_90.VAA with an opening angle of 90°.

ROHR2 interface

  • Loose flanges
    The program system ROHR2 does not allow overlapping pipe parts since version 33. For this reason HiCAD 2023 does not transmit loose flanges to ROHR2 anymore.
  • Naming of NTR files
    When creating NTR files via the ROHR2 interface, the part name of the pipe was used as file name up to now. From HiCAD 2023 the name can be configured flexibly.

Part insertion - straight pipes
When inserting straight pipes with the function Pipe parts, from HiCAD 2300 only the option Place pipeline on edge is available in the context menu. This has been extended and now occupies - e.g. with a bent guideline - the entire guideline.

Part insertion - freely placeable parts
For freely placeable parts (e.g. T-pieces or branches), selecting an edge from HiCAD 2023 does not lead directly to placing the part. If you move the cursor near an edge, a preview is displayed first. Then you have two options:

  • Click on the edge. Then a preview of the part is displayed as usual. This part can now be moved flexibly on the edge and aligned with other connections. The insertion only takes place when the placement or connection point is specified.
  • If the part is to be attached directly to another connection, select the desired connection or point without clicking the edge first. The part is then placed directly.

Down-grade Editor - mitre straight pipes
The Down-grade editor has been extended with the option Mitre cut straight pipes. If this option is selected, straight, divisible pipes are mitre cut to place them in the down-grade.

Clone & mirror pipes
For copying and pasting pipelines, the corresponding clipboard functions in the ICN can also be used from HiCAD 2023. In addition, pipelines can also be mirrored and cloned with the functions on the 3-D Standard tab.

Eccentrically inserted pipes
Up to now, straight pipes could only be inserted into other parts in such a way that the end point of the inserted pipe ends on the centre line of the other part. As of HiCAD 2023, this restriction no longer exists. The prerequisite is that a connecting point is added to the part into which the tube is to be inserted, which can then function as the end point of the inserted pipe. Common applications are top-of-pipe or bottom-of-pipe insertion.

In addition, the representation of connections in the isometry and in the pipe spool drawing has been extended. Here, for inserted eccentric pipes, the additional texts TOP (top-of-pipe), BOP (bottom-of-pipe) and EX (otherwise eccentric) are now displayed at the connection numbers, if applicable. You can adapt this display individually.

Delete multiple part selections
If several parts are selected in the drawing, these parts can now also be deleted via the context menu of the multiple selection.

Excel BOM with pipe length list
For the new ISD Report Manager (from HiCAD 2023) an XML configuration file adapted for Plant Engineering is available with the name HiCAD_Anlagenbau.rm_settings. This configuration file allows the sensible creation of BOMs for mixed model drawings and facilitates in particular the application of a new BOM template for the Excel export.

Adapted configuration files for the new ISD Report Manager are also available for the Plant Engineering functions on the Plant Engineering > Evaluation tab.

Railing Configurator - Elbow at handrail end

Dimension calculation with change of dimension alignment

Free choice of length unit / display of settings

More convenient and simplified BOM configuration with the new Report Manager

Revised wall brackets ALUCOBOND© U

ALUCOBOND® SZ20 tray panel - individual left/right bracing

Eccentrically inserted pipes - marking in isometry and pipe spool drawing

New usage for assemblies with a Sheet Metal part as the main part

Plant Engineering - Excel BOM with pipe length list

Improved surface sections - fewer free-form points and better performance
(1) Freeform points before HiCAD 2023, (2) in HiCAD 2023

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